CAMP CAPINPIN, Tanay, Rizal — The ceremonial signing of partnership documents between and among the Tanay LGU, the Army and private farm owners here on Friday officially signalled the launching of efforts to ensure food security in Southern Tagalog.
The initiative is also in support to the national government’s Balik Probinsya Program which intends to decongest Metro Manila and promote rural living and farming among the people.
Major General Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, Commander of the Philippine Army’s 2nd Infantry Division which is one of the partnership’s proponents, said that the initiative is designed to keep the people afloat during, and even beyond, the Community Quarantine period being implemented by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly corona virus.
He added that even before the formal signing ang launching of the project, the soldiers have already “identified and converted almost two hectares of Camp Capinpin into farmlands as we promote farming to prevent a looming food crisis as the nation battles the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“As of the moment, we are already on the road to self sufficiency because our soldiers are already benefiting from the fruits of our labor, something which we want to replicate in the communities within our operational jurisdiction”, said Maj Gen Burgos.
He ended his statement by articulating the soldiers’ “hope that this project will be the beginning of another enduring partnership which will help us not just in our quest to have ample food supply but, more importantly, to achieve peace, prosperity and development which every Filipino truly deserves.”
Under the partnership, the farms will be providing technical assistance in livestock raising, crop production and food processing to the soldiers while volunteers from the community and paramilitary forces will be tapped to augment the manpower of the private farms that will be converted into “Quarantine Farm Camps” which is projected to produce huge volumes farm-fresh food for the community.
Mr Dexter Villamin, the President and CEO of DV Boer Farms which is also known as “The People’s Farm”, said that food security should be ensured so that greater problems such as hunger and civil disobedience can be prevented as those are the problems that might arise as a result of the measures which were set in place to contain the current global crisis.
He added that the partnership will help the Filipino people in surviving this very challenging phase of our lives and overcome hunger because “we have a natural skill for farming, on top of our innate resiliency, which can help address possible food shortage.”
“As agri-business, we feel that it is our civic responsibility to help the government avert such problems not only by providing food but also by empowering and giving our people the ability to grow their own food during, and even beyond, the current health crisis”, ended Mr Villamin.
Mayor Rex Manuel Tanjuatco expressed his appreciation to the Army’s 2nd Infantry Division and the DV Boer Farms International for being a consistent and reliable partner of the people of Tanay.
He reiterated his optimism that “this out of the box program will turn out to be the extraordinary action that will help ensure my constituents’ survival during these extraordinary times.”
The local chief executive believes that the noble undertaking will help his people, particularly the indigenous people, in cushioning the long term effect of the pandemic to the local economy and to the lives of his constituents.
The military said that they are planning to replicate the initiative across Southern Tagalog.
Talks with other LGUs and private farm owners are now on initial stages and are envisioned to culminate in similar signing of MOPs for the establishment of more Quarantine Farm Camps in the region.